Faraday Future's first concept car, the FFZERO1, previews the firm's upcoming production vehicles and features a 1000bhp electric powertrain
7 January 2016

Faraday Future has revealed its first concept car, the FFZERO1, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Though not destined for production, the FFZERO1 instead provides a close look at the interior and exterior design language chosen for Faraday Future’s upcoming line of production vehicles, which are scheduled to appear within “a couple of years”.

The single-seat all-electric racer concept sits on a bespoke, modular electric platform, dubbed the Variable Platform Architecture (VPA). All of Faraday Future’s future vehicles will use the VPA platform, which the company claims can be rapidly reconfigured to suit different vehicle types.

As well as being engineered to adopt both two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive configurations, the platform is also capable of housing up to three electric motors. Batteries are added to the platform in ‘strings’, again helping adaptability.

The FFZERO1 features four ‘quad core’ motors as part of its electric powertrain, producing a combined 1000bhp and allowing it to reach 60mph in less than three seconds. Top speed is said to be over 200mph.

The car’s single-seat cockpit design features a driver’s seat angled at 45deg to improve comfort and a new head restraining system built into the seat. Oxygen and water tubes can also be connected to the driver’s helmet from ports in the seat.

Augmented reality displays can be projected onto the concept’s windscreen, while a mobile phone mounting on the steering wheel is used to control some driving functions. Faraday Future’s cars will also come pre-equipped with the sensors needed to carry out autonomous driving functions.

The car's exterior bodywork is made from a mixture of carbonfibre and composites. Its styling and 'air tunnel' design is designed to channel cooling air to the battery packs, while the rear fin can be used as a 'digital canvas' to display the driver's name and race position.

Speaking on the eve of CES, Nick Sampson, Faraday Future’s head of R&D and engineering, said the company had been working “night and day" to create a new vision of mobility.

“We all share a common goal to profoundly move the world in better, cleaner and more intelligent ways,” Sampson said. “We have a very transformative vision. We are embarking on nothing less than a complete rethink on what mobility means.

“You don’t need to have a 100-year legacy in the automotive industry to define what the next generation of mobility needs to look and feel like.”

Sampson said Faraday Future would attempt to move faster than traditional car makers by shaping itself more as a technology company than as a car manufacturer. He also praised Tesla – viewed as the firm’s chief rival - for bringing ‘start-up thinking’ to the automotive industry.

Design chief Richard Kim said the FFZERO1 concept was “an extreme test bed for the fundamental ideas we are working on for upcoming vehicles”. Kim was poached from BMW’s i brand, where his credits include the i3 and i8 road cars and the i8 Spyder concept.

Although Faraday Future is yet to confirm what its business model will be, the company has given strong hints that it will move away from traditional vehicle ownership.

It’s understood that Faraday Future’s customers will be able to sign up and lease different cars from the company depending on their needs. “Perhaps having a city car to get to work, but the platform knows that every weekend you need a larger vehicle for the family,” said Kim.

“Uber is great. It’s not so unlike Airbnb and other services where you can have it when you want it, but not when you don’t.”

Speaking to Bloomberg late last year, Sampson said Faraday Future “will launch a single model and follow with a range of vehicles in a faster way than others have achieved. We’re looking at seven different vehicles.”

Part of Faraday Future’s revenue stream will also come from infotainment services, Sampson said. “Our business model is not based around moving a car out of the dealer. We envision this like a smart phone. The revenue starts once you get the device in the owner's hands. We’re looking at subscriptions and apps and other opportunities.”

It’s no surprise to see Faraday Future choose CES for its official launch. The company has elected to build its first vehicle factory in north Las Vegas. The new site, which will create 4500 jobs and is part of a $1 billion investment plan, will house design studios and workshops as well as the tooling needed for building cars.

Faraday Future is currently based in Los Angeles, where it employs a team of over 750 people. The company has made no bones about poaching the best automotive and technology talent from its rivals – its leadership team includes Dag Reckhorn, Alan Cherry and Tom Wessner, all of whom have previously held senior positions at Tesla, as has Sampson.

Q&A with Richard Kim, lead designer at Faraday Future

What inspired the creation of the FFZERO1 concept?

The concept is first and foremost a celebration of our VPA platform. We took a lot of our design DNA and used this as a test bed for what our legacy will be in the future. We’re building our own heritage as we go. This is an extreme version of that, and the result is something as emotional and dynamic as this.

Why does the FFZERO1 take the form of a race car?

Everything in racing is tested there and implemented in production, so that’s a nice fact for us. That project was born from a sketch on a napkin. We were working on our production car and one of our designers made a doodle of a race car, and then Nick Sampson said our platform could support such a vehicle.

What ownership model will Faraday Future be looking at?

I think some people will want to just buy our first car and own it, but I think the notion of ownership is changing and the rise of music streaming is a great example of that. From a design standpoint that’s interesting and a challenge, to design a car that someone may not own. You may design that product in a very different way.

Will your first production model be an SUV?

I don’t want to call it an SUV, I don’t want to put that car into a category right now. Maybe the public will define their own category for it, but it’s going to be a unique statement. We could launch cars very quickly after the first model, but for now we’re concentrating on finishing the first model. The design for that is already done and has been done for a while, and now we’re designing our second car. 

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Comments
7

30 November 2015

Whether the company and car succeeds or not, it'll be subjected to the same anti-Tesla, anti-American car company comments as usual by many. The same ones who lamblast any car than comes from the USA.

30 November 2015

So, i guess that with all the talk about aromatherapy and film watching and commuting they're not even thinking about making this any thing more than an appliance.

 

Please insert paragraps where needed.

1 December 2015

What a name. How can you fail with a name like that? Dag Reckhorn. "My name is Dag Reckhorn and I am here to make a shit car which a cavalcade of morons will buy once they discover it has the Apple badge on it. Now get out of my way"

1 December 2015

but crawling through traffic isn't. I would rather sit in an appliance doing something else for any mundane A to B movement . If I want to have some driving fun I can go to a track. I only do 4K miles a year and can't justify depreciating 10's of thousands of pounds sitting on the drive. An on demand autonomous vehicle could be perfect, current car hire isn't quick or convenient and Taxi's aren't private. It will take an outsider to fast track this new model of car transport with lots of cash (Apple) and brand identity. Apple has 3 of the top ten disruptive products the only one in the top 10 for the car industry was the model T.

2 December 2015
Walking wrote:

If I want to have some driving fun I can go to a track

That amounts to treating cars like shotguns. Something to be shuttered away from society, into the realm of private clubs. Are you a Liberal Democrat?

Walking wrote:

I would rather sit in an appliance doing something else for any mundane A to B movement

Such "appliances" already exist. They're known as "buses" and "taxis".

Walking wrote:

It will take an outsider to fast track this new model of car transport

A car created specially for traffic jams. Where to begin with that one? So far off the scale, it's not even "wrong".

2 December 2015
Norma Smellons wrote:

That amounts to treating cars like shotguns. Something to be shuttered away from society, into the realm of private clubs. Are you a Liberal Democrat?

What an odd comment to make. I think you'll find the general consensus is that with even quite modest performance orientated cars (and a lot of mundane everyday metal) the safest place to exploit them is on the many well organised and very well advertised and supported track days which are used right across the country. Hardly shuttering it away from society is it Norma? Or would you rather people risk themselves and others on public roads? Is that what you are saying Norma??

Norma Smellons wrote:

Such "appliances" already exist. They're known as "buses" and "taxis".

And most people still don't use them as they either don't pick you up from your door and drop you off at your exact destination in the case of buses or would cost you more to run than owning a car if you needed to use them all the time in the case of taxi's

Norma Smellons wrote:

A car created specially for traffic jams. Where to begin with that one? So far off the scale, it's not even "wrong".

Where exactly does anyone suggest that they will be created specifically for traffic jams and that scenario only?? The simple fact is that bar far the majority of journeys undertaken by far the the majority of people day to day regardless of being in towns, cities or out in the country side are a simple case of getting from a to b in the most efficient way possible to that individual with absolutely no thought to driving pleasure and I bet you anything you like that by far the majority of people would choose the ability to go from their starting point to their destination without having to think about the driving over being in control if it meant that they could relax or get on with other things

XXXX's intellect just went POP!

5 January 2016

Much as I've back the EV over the last few years, the figures are a bit 'bigged up'. On the companies web site regarding staff - "We expect to number approximately 500 by the end of 2015." not the 750 they've currently got in the story. And even with 500 staff they'd be burning around 22.5 million pounds a year (if the average salary was £45k) so will have to get a move on. Any how wish them luck and it'll be interesting what they come up with especially with so many ex Telsa employees.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

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